What is the Project About?
Bangladesh is on the verge of becoming a middle income country by 2021 and in its’ journey to achieve that position, there exists the challenge of addressing 12.9% of the population who are extreme poor. Social security for citizens is mandated by the Article 15 (d) of the Constitution of Bangladesh as ‘the provision of basic necessities.’
The government’s social security policy is part of policies and programmes which comprise the element of its Social Development Framework (SDF). This is the wider umbrella incorporating the Government poverty reduction strategy coupled with strategies on education, health, nutrition and population, sanitation and water supply, inclusive finance, women and gender empowerment, social inclusion of ethnic and religious minorities, disaster management and social security. At the 2011 Dhaka Social Protection Conference, the Government of Bangladesh announced the preparation of the first National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) which lays out the journey to lift the extreme poor in Bangladesh.
Currently, there are 118 social safety net programmes; implemented by 25 line ministries, with a budget of Tk. 540 billion (FY 2017-18), accounting for 13.54% of the Government budget, and 2.44% of GDP. Against this backdrop, the Government of Bangladesh embarked upon the formulation of a comprehensive National Social Security Strategy (NSSS), to coordinate and consolidate the existing safety net programmes to achieve better efficiency and results. The long term vision of the National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) is: “Build an inclusive Social Security System for all deserving Bangladeshis that effectively tackles and prevents poverty and inequality and contributes to broader human development, employment and economic growth.”
The core strategy of the programme is to consolidate the extreme poor who undergo risks of the life cycle, with programmes for children, working age people, youth, vulnerable women – the elderly, and persons with disabilities, transvestites, people with HIVAIDS and the urban poor.
The Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme
The Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme will help the government re-configure the current social security system so that economic growth is achieved in a more inclusive manner, with economic opportunities reaching the rural and urban poor and the protection of vulnerable groups against shocks.
The programme will help the government in two areas namely governance of social protection and strengthening of systems.
Governance of Social Protection
- The Central Monitoring Committee (CMC) will be the Coordination unit charged with development and overseeing of the social security programmes and the inter-sectoral linkages;
- Broader ownership of the programme;
- Capacity building of officials;
- Establish a policy research facility/unit on social security;
- Establishing an Innovations and Research Challenge Fund.
- Platform of direct electronic Government to Citizen (G2C);
- Field M & E/MIS for coordination and local compliance;
- Training of local payment agents including via the UNDP A2I Project;
- Finding out suitable software for piloting electronic payment platforms;
- Using M & E database platform allied with IT support to deliver other services such as health;
- Obtaining support from civil society organizations to help implement grievance systems and rights protected mechanisms;
- Training officials to use M & E systems and electronic payment platforms.
There will be a single Project Steering Committee (PSC) for the UNDP larger Social Protection Programme. The PSC, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, will be responsible for policy guidance and coordination between all institutions and groups involved in the Social Protection Programme. Under the Government reporting system established, the Steering Committee will, in turn, report to the Cabinet Division Inter-ministerial Committee on Social Protection. The PSC will also be connected with the DFID funded Social Protection Programme.
- The Cabinet Division, Government of Bangladesh
- The General Economics Division, Planning Commission
- UK Government – DFID
- The United Nations Development Programme
The UK government’s active work to end extreme poverty is led by its Department for International Development (DFID). DFID works in 28 countries across Asia, Africa and the Middle East focusing on various areas such as education, health, governance, climate and environment, water and sanitation. The UK government is committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the effective and transparent implementation of UK aid. It supports many organisations that work to fight poverty. The UK government works closely with the government of Bangladesh and its development partners in order to ensure strong delivery of aid for the poor. As such, the UK is the main donor of UPPR and a strategic partner, guiding and ensuring achievement of UPPR’s long-term objectives and desired changes in the lives of the urban poor in Bangladesh. For more information, please visit: www.gov.uk/world/bangladesh
UNDP is a knowledge-based development organization that supports national objectives and internationally agreed goals (including the Millennium Development Goals). Over the past decades, UNDP has worked with the government and other bodies to produce transformational results in areas of poverty reduction, democratic governance and environmental protection as well as disaster management and climate change. UNDP’s work in poverty reduction emphasizes the importance of inclusive economic growth. Whether by mobilizing urban poor communities to access public services or building the savings and skills of impoverished rural women, UNDP seeks to ensure that the poor are not a burden on Bangladesh’s growth, but are a central and contributing element in it. In addition to working in close collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh, UNDP manages the implementation of UPPR with support from UN-HABITAT and may other partners. UNDP works together with the Bangladesh Government to create an enabling policy-environment that responds to the needs of the poor and urban communities.
For more information, please visit: www.undp.org
Who Finances It?
What has been achieved so far?
- 10 background papers support the NSSS development.
- UNDP has demonstrated its leading position strategically in the social protection policy area through Political Economy Analysis.
- UNDP book on “Social Protection in Bangladesh – Building Effective Social Safety Nets and Ladders Out of Poverty” published.
- NSSS Implementation Unit at the GED (General Economics Division, Planning Commission, GoB) supports Social Protection research that feeds into 7th Five-Year Plan (Written inputs on inclusion of excluded groups in social protection provided for Chapter 6 of 7th 5-year plan).
- NSSS shared with the Prime Minister, the Cabinet discussed the draft NSSS and revision submitted for Cabinet’s final approval and the Cabinet approves National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) in June 2015.